The 4 Most Important Mechanics of Lead Generation
I once had a job at a well known non-profit organization that helped combat the root causes of childhood obesity in major US cities. It was wonderful work for a very noble cause. The problem, however, was that more than 70% of our actual meeting and “work” time was spent talking about money, and how to get more of it. If I knew then what I know now about lead generation and proper targeting, we would have spent far more time devising innovative ways to assist, creating educational plans, nutritional guidelines and inventing fun ways to exercise. So, even in a job far removed from the machinations of commerce, generating quality leads was still paramount to making it all work.
It really doesn’t matter what type of business you’re in, you still need to find cost effective ways to source new customers, whether they’re donors for philanthropic ventures or purveyors of the best new pork rinds on the planet.
And, in our vast experience, an inbound lead generation program can work for nearly every kind of product or service based business, from raising money for a great cause, to selling the hottest millennial “must have” gadget.
Here are the most critical elements of an inbound marketing program, and an idea or two on how to make them great.
From a tactical perspective, a marketer needs four crucial elements to make inbound lead generation successful. These include:
- Compelling Offers
- Calls to Action
- Landing Pages
- Lead Capture Forms
Creating Irresistible Offers
One way to create that irresistibility to to use the element of scarcity. Scarcity creates an emotional response, making us want something more if there isn’t enough for everyone. It creates a fear of shortage, and thus a sense of urgency.
Calls to Action
Calls-to-action (CTA) are the secret sauce to driving people to your offers. If your CTAs aren’t effective at capturing people’s attention and persuading them to the click, then it makes the offer useless. As I’m sure you’ve seen and experienced, not all CTAs are created equal. In a world where every brand is fighting for consumer attention, it’s critical that prospects choose your offer over your competitors.
Check out our free eBook, The 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas to see specific examples of CTAs that kill.
Landing Pages that Convert
Simply put, a landing page is a standalone web page, distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single focused objective. For our purposes, that objective can be reduced to an equation: a brand or service offers something of value in exchange for receiving prospect’s contact information. Our simple advice here can be reduced to a few of simple bullet points:
- Make the landing page clean, simple, attractive and devoid of everything else except for info pertaining to the offer that you’re promoting
- There should be no more than 2 paths for the user to take; fill out the form or, leave the page
- Test the effectiveness of landing pages by changing offers, headlines and form requirements
Contact or Lead Generation Form
Forms are the key to a landing page. Without them, there is no way to “convert” a visitor into a lead. Forms come in handy when it’s time for people to sign-up, subscribe to your site or download an offer.
The fewer fields you have in a form, the higher your conversion rate will be. Each new field creates friction (more work for the visitor) and one more reason to abandon it. Some will argue that the more fields you require, the better those leads might be. Our experience says different.
Here’s one more tip: One of the best ways to increase form conversion rates is to avoid using default language on your button, like “SUBMIT.” Make sure that your button text reinforces what is being offered in return for their valuable contact information. Things like “Get Your Brochure,” or “Download Whitepaper” have worked well for us. “Get Your Free eBook” or “Join Our Newsletter” have also converted far better than something like this: “SUBMIT”.
Generating leads online has the power to transform your marketing. Using great offers, calls-to-action, landing pages and forms – while promoting them in multi-channel environments – can reduce your cost-per-lead while delivering higher quality prospects to your sales team.
The basics herein are just the beginning. The guide below contains even more best practices for every aspect of lead generation to help bolster your conversion rates. But in the spirit of any true and effective inbound lead generation program, these tactics are only the tip of the iceberg. Continue to tweak and test each step of your lead generation process in an effort to improve the quality of your leads and ultimately, the quality of your business.